Context is everything?!

The Nordwit intensive PhD course “Gender, work and transforming organisations” taking place in Tampere this week is going great, thanks to the fantastic Tampere team and our wonderful Scientific Advisory Board member Julia Nentwich. The participants are coming from as far away as Kenya and Israel, and it’s really good to see them here – even if the local temperature in Tampere is a bit of a shock to the system for some!

Having an international crew drives home how important contextualization is in research – things we take for granted in our own worlds are unknown elsewhere. A Finnish participant working on army personnel’s understanding of their professional identity wrote about the ‘cadet’s vow’ that many of us had never heard about. Another participant discussed support organizations for female entrepreneurship in Turkey – it was interesting to discover that in the heteronormative context in which she did her research husbands encouraged wives to set up SMEs with the help of these support organizations so that the husbands could pay off their debts – this is the husbands’ debts… This brought up the topic of SMEs as family businesses – quite common in countries without welfare systems and with complex relations to the local tax regime. Enough said…

Gabriele Griffin